My workshop is coming together. I now have a Lee Valley workbench with lots of dogs and clamps. Yesterday I mixed a batch of art plaster and created a form for the back of Ashley's Violin. Today I used chisels and a Lee Valley brass mallet to clean out the inside of the back plate. The maple is highly figured and difficult to work. I tried using a large finger plane, but that was just painful and frustrating. The chisels and mallet gave me control and clean cuts.
The wood is beautiful, so the difficulty in working it will pay off.